Metzeler Tyre Torture Test Results in Records

The brand new Metzeler MC 360 tyre which, thanks to its promising features has already caught the attention of off road enthusiasts before its market availability which starts in April, can now boast in its pedigree three World Records.

Last weekend, the Metzeler MC 360 went through the final stage of the test which challenged it with extreme trials in Chile at the Nevado Ojos del Salado volcano situated at the border between Argentina and Chile. At 6891 metres high, it is the highest volcano in the world. Upon this occasion MC 360™ with the Honda Africa Twin and CRF450RX established three records:

1)  From zero to 5900 metres above the sea level in less than 24 hours

2)  5960 metres as maximum height for a twin-cylinder motorcycle

3)  5977 metres as maximum height reached with a motorcycle in less than 24 hours

The team of this record expedition was composed of Salvo Pennisi, Metzeler’s Head of Testing Department, Carlo Fiorani, Honda’s Head of Racing Communications, the industry journalists Francesco Catanese and Karsten Schwers, and Fabio Mossini, the enduro champion now part of the Honda Sud America team. 

The first record set was a real team victory: Francesco Catanese, Fabio Mossini and Karsten Schwers riding the Honda Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi, riding alternately both the Africa Twin and the CRF450RX, managed to reach 5900 metres, after starting from sea level, in 22 hours and 30 minutes.

The second success was an individual record scored by Fabio Mossini, who managed to bring his Honda Africa Twin to 5960 metres above sea level, the highest level ever reached with a twin-cylinder motorcycle.

 The third record is again an individual one, set by Metzeler’s Head of Testing. Riding the CRF450RX, he set the record for the highest climb above sea level ever reached by a motorcycle, bringing his single-cylinder Honda to 5977 metres of altitude in 22 hours and 40 minutes. This came after a challenging climb to reach the Atacama hut at 5200 metres when riding the Africa Twin.

As already mentioned, both the Africa Twin and the CRF450RX had been equipped with the new Metzeler MC 360 tyres, in prototype sizes for the Africa Twin and in standard sizes for the CRF450RX.

 The adventure in Chile represented the final and most severe testing of the new Metzeler MC 360. It was aimed at assessing the tyre’s level of performance, wear, versatility and resistance to tearing in extreme conditions, with temperatures ranging from +40° in the Desert of Copiapó down to -15° on the Andes.

Salvo Pennisi on the Honda CRF450RX

 The record climb started on February 24th in Copiapò, the capital of the Atacama region, in Chile. Things were made even tougher by the challenge to reach the extreme height in 24 hours without the support of oxygen.

Following five days mandatory naturalization at increasing heights, where one of the riders and one of the technicians supporting the team were forced to give up due to increasing symptoms of acute altitude sickness, the team left from the Pacific shore at Bahia Inglesa on Friday 3rd of March at 1.20 pm local time. After a challenging 300 kilometres ride through all kind of asphalts, screes, dirts, endless stretches of sand and deep mud pits, the team reached the base camp of Laguna Verde at 4300 metres of height. The Metzeler MC 360 had ensured, already in this first step, exceptional versatility providing maximum stability in any condition, power of traction and reduced wear with an outstanding level of resistance to rips and tears. 

The start from Bahia Inglesa

 In the morning of Saturday March 4th, at the crack of dawn and -5° C temperature, the team set-off to climb towards the top of the volcano. From the Murray hut, after an exhausting 40 kilometres ride to reach the Atacama hut 5200 metres above the sea level, the four riders composing the team went through the toughest step. Fabio Mossini, Karsten Schwers and Francesco Catanese with the Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi with the CRF450RX, all using Metzeler MC 360 tyres.

 Following a dramatic climb to the Tejos hut, 5837 metres above the sea level, and after riding through stretches of sand and ice sheets, the group had to deal with an unpleasant surprise: at 5900 metres there are some impenetrable icy patterns, also known as “penitentes”. Such patterns, typical in this kind of area with very strong wind, were obstructing the chance of climbing any higher. 

The “Penitentes”

This is when Fabio Mossini and Salvo Pennisi decided to accept the challenge posed by the volcano and try the last effort. Luck supports the braves and Fabio Mossini, with the big Africa Twin supported by the MC 360 managed to reach 5960 metres of height to set the World Record for twin-cylinder motorcycles. Following the path opened by Salvo Pennisi who had just managed to bring before him his CRF450RX to 5977 metres above the sea level to set the absolute record of height ever reached by a motorcycle in 24 hours.